Dr. Mark Goulston on Suicide Prevention

August 1, 2018

Dr. Mark Goulston joins Brian Levenson on this week’s podcast. Dr. Goulston works as a psychiatrist, but also has been a high stakes crisis psychiatrist, FBI hostage negotiation trainer, and he coaches founders to become CEO’s. He has helped traumatized people heal and thrive in addition to surviving and coping. This conversation is deep, and it’s a conversation about suicide and how we can prevent suicide in the future.

In this episode, they discuss how he came to be interested in the medical world, and his story about depression in medical school (5:45), how his life changed when he was kicked out of Medical School (11:00), what mentors mean to him (15:00), what drew him to being a suicide specialist (16:00), where his ability to connect with people comes from (19:00), about how people die from despair as opposed to depression (22:30), why he was drawn towards helping people prevent suicide (24:00), what helping people does for him (27:40), his thoughts on mindfulness (34:20), on being a first class “noticer” and two magical tricks to stop any argument (40:30), what he believes about suicide, advise for people who are thinking about suicide, and how we can be helpful to people having suicidal thoughts (49:00), what he thinks depression wise is going on with our society today (58:15), a magical tip that he’s given men when in an argument with their wife (1:02:00), and the best quote he’s ever heard (1:05:30).

Thanks to Dr. Goulston for coming on the podcast, and I encourage you to check out his website at http://markgoulston.com/. You can also find Dr. Goulston on twitter @MarkGoulston and we encourage you to check out his pinned tweet where he connects people who have been impacted by suicide. He has also written several top-selling books such as “Talking to Crazy,” and “Get Out of Your Own Way,” which we encourage you to check out.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.



Josh Basile on the Power of Hope

July 25, 2018

Josh Basile joins the podcast this week. Josh is an advocate, lawyer, teacher, and mentor. Josh is amazingly grateful and he leverages gratitude in every part of his life. In this podcast, he talks through his traumatic injury at Bethany Beach and how he views life and interprets events that have happened to him.

In this episode we discuss what life was like growing up (4:50), what his mindset was like as a top athlete at Bullis and at Skidmore College (7:05), his memories as soon as the injury happened and how his mom helped him through the injury (11:10), his mindset during rehabilitation (17:00), his biggest transition after the injury and the mentor program he has created (18:20), what gets him from idea to action (24:30), how he views mindset in preparation vs performance (30:30), what he does in the moments that are not glamorous and moments that are special (36:40), what he does in his life to tap into the present (41:20), when gratitude entered his life and his visualization tactics (43:20), who has helped him on is journey and what lessons he has learned (49:10), and they close with what he sees himself doing in 10 years (51:10).

Thanks to Josh for coming on the podcast, and I encourage you to check out his non-profit at http://www.determined2heal.org/ or https://spinalpedia.com/ where they help newly injured families transition to a life with paralysis and give them the tools and mindsets they need to be successful and live a healthy and active lifestyle. You can also follow them on Twitter at @SPINALpedia, Facebook @SPINALpedia or his email is Josh.Basile@gmail.com.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.



Ken Harbaugh on Taking Action

July 18, 2018

Ken Harbaugh joins Brian Levenson on this week’s podcast. Ken has spent time in the Navy and as President of Team Rubicon Global to name a few of his professions, and is currently running for Congress in Ohio. Ken is a devoted family man that has become a leading advocate for military veterans, and when he sees the need for action, he takes action.

In this episode they discuss what led him to the military and becoming a pilot (6:05), how the Navy views leadership and how to train like a Navy pilot (12:15), what is his mindset when in the air, and how to perform when emotion and anxiety rise (18:10), his routine before going up in the air (23:30), what leadership and being part of a team mean for him (25:00), his journey from leaving the Navy to joining Team Rubicon (26:30), why he has shifted from a traditional path to an alternative path throughout his life (32:00), his mindset in preparation/planning, and then mindset in pure action mode (36:00), how his experience in Team Rubicon was different than as a Pilot (41:30), about why he is transitioning toward politics (45:40), and what success would look like if he gets elected, and which job has been the most impactful on his life (46:50). Finally, he concludes by talking about writing his book, Here Be Dragons, with his wife (48:40).

Thanks to Ken for coming on the podcast, and I encourage you to check out his book Here Be Dragons: A Parent's Guide to Rediscovering Purpose, Adventure, and the Unfathomable Joy of the Journey. You can also follow him on Twitter: @Team_Harbaugh or Instagram: @kenharbaugh

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.

Thanks for listening.



Keith Mitchell from the NFL to Mindful Living

July 11, 2018

Former all-pro NFL football player turned internationally renowned celebrity yogi Keith Mitchell joins Brian Levenson on the podcast this week. Keith is a motivational mindfulness coach, holistic health and wellness advocate, community activist and humanitarian, and he is committed to providing holistic tools that help others achieve optimal health, harmony and aliveness to the fullest degree. A life-changing football injury left Keith partially paralyzed, and he utilized Yoga and Meditation to fully recover, and he now shares his inspirational transformation with others as a highly sought after spiritual lifestyle/wellness coach, teacher and motivational speaker. Keith’s mission is to guide others to find the power within themselves to make a positive shift— so they may live a life full of joy, gratitude and purpose.

In this episode, they discuss his upbringing and life growing up both from a personal and football standpoint (6:45), the values his parents passed down to him (9:30), the different between fitting in vs. sticking out in football (12:00), his dominance mindset with football (19:40), what he would tell himself to believe he could achieve a goal with regards to the visualization tactics, and goal setting tactics he used (22:20), his thoughts on leadership and how he developed his work ethic (29:50), what thriving looks like for him and what’s meaningful in his life (40:10), how he cultivated a belief in himself and how he created his own story with self-talk (52:00), preparation and minset during both the week of and right before a game (1:03:30), the moment when he makes that tackle and his life takes an unexpected turn (1:08:50), his experience with depression after the injury and how he changed after the injury (1:14:00), what his daily and morning routines look like (1:23:20), and finally if he would have gone down this path had the injury not happened (1:28:40).

Thanks to Keith for coming on the podcast, and I encourage you to check out his website http://www.keithmitchell59.com/ as well. You can also follow him on Twitter: @K_Mitchell59 or Instagram @keithmitchell59.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.

Thanks for listening.




Jen Rizzotti on Playing for Championships

July 4, 2018

Today's guest is Jen Rizzotti. Jen is entering her third season as the head coach of the George Washington women's basketball team. Jen guided the Colonials back to the NCAA Tournament in her second season at the helm in 2017-18 after leading the program to the Atlantic 10 Championship. 

Rizzotti was named the 10th head coach of GW women's basketball on April 15, 2016. Coach Rizzotti spent the previous 17 seasons as the head coach of the Hartford Hawks, where she built a conference powerhouse in taking the Hawks to all six NCAA appearances in program history, winning a pair of NCAA Tournament games, and distinguishing herself as the all-time winningest coach in America East history.

Inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, Rizzotti is well-known in basketball circles around the world. After taking control of a Hartford program that went 8-19 in the year before she was hired and that had never won more than 15 games prior to her arrival, the Hawks enjoyed 11 seasons with more than 15 victories in her tenure and won at least 20 games seven times.

Following the 2009-10 regular season, Rizzotti was named a finalist for the Kay Yow National Coach of the Year award after leading Hartford to a school-record 20-game winning streak, a perfect 16-0 record in conference play and the program's first-ever national ranking.

Rizzotti is also deeply connected to international basketball through her involvement with the USA Women's Basketball national program. She served as head coach of 2010 FIBA Americas U18 gold medal winners as well as the 2011 U19 World Champions. In 2011 she was crowned as the USA Basketball National Coach of the Year. More recently Rizzotti served as an assistant for the 2014 FIBA World Championships and served in a support role for the USA Basketball Women's National Team's Gold Medal run at the 2016 Olympic Games.

As a student-athlete at the University of Connecticut, Rizzotti first vaulted into the national spotlight as the starting point guard for the Huskies' first national championship team in 1995 with an undefeated 35-0 record. During the run to the national title, Rizzotti was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

A former All-American and the NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player after her junior and senior seasons, in 1996 Rizzotti virtually swept the postseason awards as Big East Player of the Year, Big East Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Associated Press Player of the Year, the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the Wade Trophy winner.

Rizzotti graduated as UConn's career leader in assists (637) and steals (349) and still ranks second all-time in those categories.

As a coach and formerly as a student-athlete, Rizzotti's focus on academics has always been exemplary. Under her guidance, Hartford was ranked among the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Academic Top 25 teams on three occasions. Another accolade from her playing days was awarded in June 2016 when the two-time Academic All-American and 1996 Academic All-American of the Year was officially inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

Rizzotti played eight seasons of professional basketball following her graduation from UConn in 1996. In addition to five seasons in the WNBA - two with the Houston Comets and three with the Cleveland Rockers - she competed for three seasons with the New England Blizzard in the American Basketball League. In the ABL she was a two-time All-Star.

You can follow GW on Twitter @GW_WBB.

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.




Kevin Cherilla on Climbing Mountains

June 27, 2018

Kevin Cherilla has had the privilege of working with thousands of people from all walks of life for the past 20 years. Whether in the classroom, the boardroom or on the mountain, his tailored messages and themes are delivered for maximum impact to diverse audiences.

From students to educators and employees to corporate executives, Kevin’s engaging, energetic and educational programs are perfect for reaching young people and adults through lessons and experiences that directly apply to their everyday lives:

• Value the diverse qualities in every team member

• Learn when to lead and when to follow

• Achieve and appreciate success regardless of the odds against you

• Inspire vision, hope and accomplishment in the minds of those who have given up

• Set real goals that are beyond the ordinary

As a business owner, premiere educator and mountain guide of twenty years, Kevin understands how people learn and what kind of presentation will resonate with specific audiences. Kevin’s programs not only captivate listeners but deliver salient lessons to inspire everyone. He offers these presentations for international corporations, foundations, universities and schools. Each one is unique and tailored to their needs, themes and schedule. Kevin’s presentations include breathtaking expedition photos and award winning video footage from around the world including the summit of Mt. Everest and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

His teams have been featured on the front cover of TIME, Outside, Climbing and *Scholastic News magazines, on the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and world news programs, including CNN. Kevin started K2 to engage and challenge individuals by reaching their goals of climbing mountains around the world. Many of his clients have individual disabilities such as amputations, blindness, paralysis and muscular dystrophy. His teammates have ranged in age from 10 to 85 years old and have had a phenomenal success rate of over 95%.

In January 2012, Kevin was given one of his greatest and most rewarding climbs to date. He was the expedition leader for Kyle Maynard, the first quadruple amputee to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. Kyle won an ESPN ESPY Award for this tremendous accomplishment. In 2016, Kyle climbed the highest peak in the western hemisphere, Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina under Kevin’s leadership, and was subsequently featured in a Nike commercial during the 2016 Summer Olympics. Some of Kevin’s other expedition successes include leading 8 blind climbers up Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2009 which broke four world records.

Kevin was a member of Erik Weihenmayer’s historic summit of Mt. Everest in 2001. Erik is the only blind person in history to reach the summit. On June 5, 2007, Kevin fulfilled one of his life-long dreams and summited Mt. Everest himself. In 2009, Kevin co-founded K2 Adventures Foundation, a qualified national and international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. K2’s mission is to care for children, adults and families with special needs and or life changing medical circumstances by providing services, support and funds that will be used for educational and medical enrichment. K2 has had many projects over the years including building a children’s medical and dental center in Tanzania, 3 schools in Nepal and working with a school for severely disabled children in Peru.

You can learn more about Kevin's work at https://k2adventures.org/.

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.




Mike Signer on Leading in Chaos

June 20, 2018

Mike Signer is a former mayor who successfully promoted innovation and pluralism in one of America's most well-known cities; a corporate attorney and executive at a major Virginia technology firm; and a public scholar who writes and teaches about constitutionalism, statesmanship, and the rule of law. His leadership against extremism, intolerance, and demagoguery has been recognized around the nation.

Mike served as Mayor of Charlottesville from 2016 to 2018, a AAA-bond-rated city of nearly 50,000 that is frequently ranked among America's best places to live and that has Virginia's lowest unemployment rate. He continues to serve on the City Council.

He is Vice President and General Counsel of WillowTree, Inc., a digital design agency with over 200 employees whose clients include Fortune 500 companies such as GE, HBO, Nestle, and National Geographic. He serves on the firm's executive team and directs many corporate and strategic matters, including contract negotiations, regulatory compliance, real estate matters, and the firm's Social Impact practice.

Mike is a lecturer at the University of Virginia, where he teaches classes on leadership. His books Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies (St. Martin's Press 2009) and Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father (PublicAffairs 2015) both received widely positive reviews. They have been assigned in classes at Rutgers University, the University of Virginia, James Madison University, and George Mason University.  He has written opinion pieces and essays for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Time, Vox, Democracy, and The New Republic, among others.

Mike and the people of Charlottesville received the Anti-Defamation League's Levenson Family Defender of Democracy Award in 2017. He is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of California Alumni Club of Washington, D.C. He is a member of the 2018 class of Aspen Institute Rodel Fellows. He was recognized by Forward Magazine in its "Forward 50" 2017 list of the 50 most influential Jewish leaders in America. He was a 2009 candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia. He has received senior appointments from three Virginia governors.

He has been profiled by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian and interviewed by Meet the Press, Face the Nation, the Rachel Maddow Show, and NPR's Morning Edition. He has been an invited speaker at Princeton University, Wake Forest University, Ryerson University, South by Southwest, Georgetown University, James Madison University, Marymount University, Israel's Foreign Ministry, the Friedrich Ebert Institute in Berlin, the Anti-Defamation League, the B'nai Brith Youth Organization, and the Richmond World Affairs Council.

He has held many leadership roles in nonprofits and civic organizations. He is the former Chair of the Emergency Food Network and former President of the Fifeville Neighborhood Association, both in Charlottesville. He served on the Board of Directors of OneVirginia2021, which advocates for nonpartisan redistricting. As a law student at the University of Virginia, he founded the Coalition for Progress on Race and co-founded the Center for the Study of Race and Law. He was also President of the UVA Law Democrats and Co-President of the UVA chapter of the American Constitution Society.

He holds a Ph.D. in political science from U.C., Berkeley, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow; a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law; and a B.A. in politics, magna cum laude, from Princeton University, where he was a work-study student.

You can learn more about Mike at his website (https://www.michaelsigner.com/) and give him a follow on twitter: @MikeSigner.

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.





Flo Groberg on Courage

June 13, 2018

This week's podcast guest is retired U.S. Army Capt and Medal of Honor winner, Florent "Flo" Groberg. Flo was born in Poissy, France and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2001. Flo went to high school with my wife at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md.

Groberg attended the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and competed in varsity track and cross country. In May 2006, Groberg graduated from UMD with a bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice.

Groberg entered the Army and attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. He received his commission as an infantry officer, Dec. 4, 2008. After completing Infantry Officer Basic Course, Mechanized Leaders Course, U.S. Army Airborne and U.S. Army Ranger Schools, he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo., as a platoon leader.

In November 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan as part of Task Force Lethal, with responsibility for the Pech River Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar Province. Upon returning home in June 2010, he continued serving as a platoon leader until he was reassigned as an infantry company executive officer from October 2010 to November 2011. He was then assigned as the brigade personal security detachment commander for 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He deployed again to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in February of 2012, with Task Force Mountain Warrior. He was promoted to captain in July 2012.

As a result of his actions, Groberg sustained the loss of 45 to 50 percent of his left calf muscle with significant nerve damage, a blown eardrum, and a mild traumatic brain injury. Groberg spent his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from August 2012 through May 2015. He was medically retired from Company B Warriors, Warrior Transition Battalion, as a captain, July 23, 2015.

Groberg's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars; the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the U.S. Army Parachutists Badge, the U.S. Army Ranger Tab, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.

You can follow Flo on Twitter: @FlorentGroberg and read his book, 8 Seconds of Courage. 

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.




Alex Banayan on The Third Door

June 6, 2018

This week's podcast is with Alex Banyan. I was fortunate to be introduced to Alex from previous guest, Cal Fussman. I recently finished reading Alex's (in 5 days) and I highly recommend it. 

The day before his freshman year final exams, ALEX BANAYAN hacked The Price Is Right, won a sailboat, sold it, and used the prize money to fund his quest to learn from the world’s most successful people.

Since then, Banayan has been named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list and Business Insider’s “Most Powerful People Under 30.” He has contributed to Fast Company, the Washington PostEntrepreneur, and TechCrunch, and has been featured in major media including FortuneForbesBusinessweek, Bloomberg TV, Fox News, and CBS News.

An acclaimed keynote speaker, Banayan has presented the Third Door framework to business conferences and corporate leadership teams around the world, garnering standing ovations from Apple, Nike, IBM, Dell, MTV, Harvard, and countless others.

You can learn more about Alex at http://thirddoorbook.com/ and follow him on Twitter @AlexBanayan.

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.


Brian Levenson


The Basketball Journey with Tony Ronzone

May 30, 2018

Basketball has taken Tony Ronzone all over the world. He played professionally overseas in New Zealand and began his coaching career as the youngest head coach in New Zealand history (age 22). He also held head coaching positions with the Saudi Arabian National Team (1992) and United Arab Emirates Team (1992-1997). Since 1997 Tony has worked in the front office of the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, and Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Before his professional basketball journey, he started by playing college basketball and baseball at the University of Nevada, participating in two NCAA tournaments, before finishing his collegiate career at Long Beach State.  

He was a member of the Pistons during their NBA Championship run in 2004. He also was a member of the Olympic committee of F.I.B.A., and Ronzone has been very active with USA Basketball, where he serves as Director of International Player Personnel. In this position, he assisted with the gold-medal winning men’s basketball team at the 2008 Olympics (China), the 2010 FIBA World Championships (Turkey) and the 2012 Olympics (London).

In 2001, Ronzone became the first American to coach the Chinese National Team, winning gold at the East Asian Games with a team featuring Yao Ming. Ronzone has coached or conducted clinics in over 55 countries around the world. He is very active with NBA Basketball without Borders and has coached at Euro camp in Treviso, Italy for the past 14 years.

Tony is a big personality who lives his life with gratitude and optimism. In this conversation, he shares everything he has learned and give insight into what it's like to scout for talent. 

Tony is active on Twitter so check him out @tonyronzone.

Also, if you liked this episode and others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @IntentionalPerformers.